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Memory lights the corners of my mind

Computer data storage through the ages. From the punch card to the cassette drive to the Jaz, and much more.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Mar 5, 2009 - 57 comments

They're Leasing Old Gateway Stores

Microsoft announced today, it will open a small number of stores to compete directly against Apple. Some think it's a dubious idea. "In a statement, Microsoft said the first priority of Mr. Porter, who is also a 25-year veteran of Wal-Mart, will be to define where to place the Microsoft stores and when to open them."
posted by Xurando on Feb 13, 2009 - 115 comments

haiku falls in place

BeOS is back! Immortalised by Neal Stephenson as the Batmobile of operating systems, it's been reincarnated as Haiku :P
posted by kliuless on Feb 11, 2009 - 57 comments

Yugos used Commodore Basic

"The avionics system in the F-22 Raptor, the current U.S. Air Force frontline jet fighter, consists of about 1.7 million lines of software code. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter...about 5.7 million lines of code...Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner...about 6.5 million lines of software code. These are impressive amounts of software, yet if you bought a premium-class automobile recently, it probably contains close to 100 million lines of software code."
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey on Feb 4, 2009 - 64 comments

Q. Would you like tea OR coffee? A: Yes.

What real-life bad habits has programming given you? "This has actually really happened to me. I was trying to hang a glass picture frame on the wall and accidentally dropped it. And in the shock of the moment, I loudly yelled 'Control Z!' Then the glass hit the floor and smashed."
posted by grumblebee on Jan 30, 2009 - 170 comments

Imagine turning on your home computer to read the newspaper!

Newspapers rush to deliver news online. A look at the future from 1981.
posted by empath on Jan 28, 2009 - 76 comments

EVLTube - Early Computer Animation at UIC Electronic Visualization Laboratory

Electronic Masks and Calculated Movements are two early computer animation projects featured at EVLTube, the YouTube channel for UIC's Electronic Visualization Laboratory. In additon to the video archive, the EVL website also features a trove of interesting current EV projects like snstncntnrs and Unfolding Space, not to mention extensive notes on the fascinating research conducted and devices used at the facility. [more inside]
posted by carsonb on Jan 10, 2009 - 4 comments

Hail To The King

The Wired Vaporware Awards, an institution since 1999 has taken some heavy hits this year, and has had to resort to some pretty naked padding to make a list (products in late beta whose release date has merely slipped? come on) – however, if there is anything that remains constant in these uncertain times we live in it is that one game rules the list, debuting in the No 2. slot in 2000, it then latched on to the top spot, with only editorial edict able to to shift it. Ladies and gentlemen, Duke Nukem - FOREVER.
posted by Artw on Dec 29, 2008 - 72 comments

Mac Vs PC

Mac Vs. PC. Inspired by Transformers, this short visual effects piece shows us what would happen if our home computers could turn into robots and started beating each other up.
posted by Effigy2000 on Dec 22, 2008 - 48 comments

Deep Geek: Understanding Memristors

The coming memristor revolution in electronics and how it works. The newly created memristor, only the fourth fundamental fundamental type of passive circuit element, has the promise of computing advances both prosaic (faster, cheaper and "bigger" flash drives) and momentous (relatively effortless mimicry of brain cells and their activity). This is the story of the memristor's genesis, told by R. Stanley Williams, the leader of the team that created the device. [more inside]
posted by NortonDC on Dec 7, 2008 - 43 comments

The One Machine

Evidence of a Global SuperOrganism. "My hypothesis is this: The rapidly increasing sum of all computational devices in the world connected online, including wirelessly, forms a superorganism of computation with its own emergent behaviors." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Oct 26, 2008 - 67 comments

We've got games your 10 year old wouldn't be good at.

Wanna play the first two Fallout games for totally cheap? Good Old Games is now open to the public. Via Blue's News, some interesting discussion there about "DRM Free" claims and whether or not Freespace 2 is really "free."
posted by WolfDaddy on Oct 23, 2008 - 60 comments

The Women of ENIAC

It's hardly the case today (unless you live in Iran), but once upon a time, all computer programmers were female. While the (male) engineers who built ENIAC, the world's first modern computer, became famous and lauded, the six women who actually programmed ENIAC have been largely overlooked. Now a team of researchers and programmers is trying to raise money to tell the story of these pioneering women in a new documentary, before it's too late. [more inside]
posted by Asparagirl on Oct 23, 2008 - 25 comments

Now we need to implement this for Metafilter comments.

Google rolls out Mail Goggles, designed to prevent drunk or otherwise impaired emailing by forcing you to answer basic math questions. And no, it's not April 1st.
posted by mattholomew on Oct 7, 2008 - 67 comments

Great Cyber Crimes and Hacks

The best criminal hacker is the one that isn't caught — or even identified. These are 10 of the most infamous unsolved computer crimes as selected by PC Magazine. However, some do get caught. Here are nine of the most infamous criminal hackers to ever see the inside of a jail cell. PCMag also reached back into the early days of computing and dredged up the most inspiring examples of hacker brilliance they could find. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Sep 30, 2008 - 43 comments

An ubergeek's manifesto

Ken Levine, creator of Bioshock, gives a funny and inspiring speech about growing up geek before the internet and the era of 'geek chic'. (SLGV, and annoying age check)
posted by mattholomew on Sep 11, 2008 - 22 comments

The Birth of the Ipod

You may have never heard of Kane Kramer, but it's likely you use the product and online store he patented. In 1979.
posted by mattholomew on Sep 9, 2008 - 47 comments

Spore in the wild

Will Wright's PC game Spore was released yesterday. The 'Sim Everything' game from the creator of Sim City and The Sims takes the player from cellular growth to space colonization with several stages in between. Reviews are in, and the consensus is that it's good but not as legendary as its scope (and multi-year development cycle) would suggest. The game's 'draconian' DRM has sparked controversy, causing Amazon users to bomb it with one-star reviews.
posted by mattholomew on Sep 8, 2008 - 144 comments

Sienfeld wants you to buy Vista, Shatner wants you to buy a Vic 20

Celebrity computer endorsements throughout the ages.
posted by Artw on Aug 21, 2008 - 65 comments

I Didn't Know That

Science Hack is a unique search engine for science videos focusing on Physics, Chemistry, and Space. For example, things to do with sulfur hexafluoride. Still growing, the editors are presently indexing other scientific fields of study including Geology, Psychology, Robotics and Computers. Ever wonder why things go bang?
posted by netbros on Aug 7, 2008 - 6 comments

NRD of 19

Using OmniFocus to manage a 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons character sheet. Nerds. Dungeons and Dragons. Obsessive overuse of Mac software.
posted by Artw on Jun 25, 2008 - 87 comments

Degree 2.0 mash-ups not advisable for computer games careers

95% of degree courses in video gaming at British universities leave graduates unfit to work in the industry, according to Games Up?, an organisation set up to address the UKs video games skills shortage. Maths skills are a particular weakness.
posted by Artw on Jun 24, 2008 - 71 comments

Click click victorious, buzz buzz glorious, Long to reign over us, buzz buzz click click.

The first known recording of a digital computer playing music, recorded by the BBC in 1951. The music played on a Ferantti Mark 1, one of the first commercial general-use computers, and was entered via punchtape and played on a speaker usually used for making clicks and tones to indicate program progress.
posted by Artw on Jun 18, 2008 - 14 comments

Cyber Command Über Alles

Attention Geeks and Hackers: Uncle Sam's Cyber Force Wants You! [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jun 5, 2008 - 29 comments

EMBEDtastic!

Flash, PDF, two great tastes that go great together? And now you can use PDF flash movies to put videos in your powerpoint – er… what?
posted by Artw on Jun 2, 2008 - 37 comments

Eeek!

Tips for getting ahead in the increasingly competitive low cost small laptop market: When you go to Getty Images, grab some stock photography of smiling kids in a classroom and photoshop in your product, you better make sure your competitor hasn't used the exact same image.
posted by Artw on May 18, 2008 - 49 comments

640K ought to be enough for anybody

The History of Computing Project is a collaborative effort to record and publish the history of the computer and its roots. The site includes a chronological timeline, biographies of computing pioneers, a look at computing hardware through the years, as well as software and games. [more inside]
posted by netbros on May 9, 2008 - 11 comments

Republican 1337

I was a Teenage Wares Freak? San Diego Republican Party chairman Tony Krvaric may have been Strider, co-founder of Fairlight. via Slashdot
posted by Artw on May 6, 2008 - 57 comments

202 Lines About 101 Computers

101 Great Mostly Pretty Good and Hopefully Correctly Attributed Quotes About Computers and Programming. But Wait There's More! Yep, 101 More Quotes plus an extra extra added bonus for a limited time, the second list as originally published in Spanish, because it's fun to read Isaac Asimov and Emo Philips in another language, and Lou Dobbs will get so pissed off. [more inside]
posted by wendell on Apr 18, 2008 - 18 comments

Internet Event Horizons

Having trouble connecting to a site? It may be you and many others got too close to a network event horizon and the packets ...disappeared.... The internets has black holes, too. via
posted by Kronos_to_Earth on Apr 8, 2008 - 13 comments

Technology and Education

Three columns on technology and eduction by Robert Cringely: the clash between those who grew up with computers and those who didn't in War of the Worlds, Amish Paradise looks for learning models in unexpected places and Ozzy knows best talks about how important digital games, not video games, could be to education. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Apr 4, 2008 - 7 comments

H.P. Papercraft

H.P. Papercraft (SLYT) "I knew putting internet in the basement was a bad idea!" [more inside]
posted by Del Far on Apr 4, 2008 - 15 comments

Matchbox Computing

"Once you've constructed your Hexapawn opponent, it's time to start playing against it... If you play this game repeatedly ... you'll quickly notice that your matchbox opponent plays better and better until it is unbeatable!" Martin Gardner created a game called Hexapawn, and also devised an artificially intelligent opponent you can build yourself out of matchboxes and colored beads. Bonus link: An interview with Martin Gardner.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner on Apr 1, 2008 - 17 comments

Life in the Future

40 Years in the Future - Another "what will life look like in the future" article. This one from Mechanix Illustrated, 1968. (via Boing Boing)
posted by caddis on Mar 24, 2008 - 50 comments

The thirtieth birthday of online communities

During a January blizzard thirty years ago in Chicago, Ward Christensen and Randy Seuss came up with the idea for a computerized bulletin board system. One month later on February 16, 1978, the first public online community was officially established, and it was named CBBS. [more inside]
posted by SteveInMaine on Feb 16, 2008 - 26 comments

"Leaving no trace [of our daily lives] is nearly impossible."

The Anonymity Experiment. Is it possible to hide in plain sight? Privacy-minded people have long warned of a world in which an individual’s every action leaves a trace, in which corporations and governments can peer at will into your life with a few keystrokes on a computer. Now one of the people in charge of information-gathering for the U.S. government says, essentially, that such a world has arrived.
posted by amyms on Feb 16, 2008 - 44 comments

Wubi: Ubuntu the easy way

Ubuntu has quickly become the number one Linux distro for the desktop. Not only is it free, but it has also made Linux easier to use than ever. Now, Wubi enables Windows users to install Ubuntu just like any other application, so you no longer have to mess around with partitions, burning CDs, etc. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis on Jan 21, 2008 - 82 comments

The Algorithm: Idiom of Modern Science

The Algorithm: Idiom of Modern Science - an allegory told with iPods as Universal Machines.
posted by loquacious on Jan 19, 2008 - 42 comments

Handy!

Can your computer run a particular game? System Requirements Lab has the answer!
posted by Pope Guilty on Jan 13, 2008 - 22 comments

Core Memory

Photographer Mark Richard's very cool pictures of computing equipment: A visual survey of vintage computers. [via]
posted by ClanvidHorse on Jan 13, 2008 - 17 comments

Run-Stop/Restore

The Commodore 64, many geek's first love, is turning 25. You can relive the glory, and still find a lot of the old software. Even more surprising is how much is still being done with it. Someone ported vi to it (obviously not EMACS). Somone else wrote a browser. For the ultimate, a souped up motherboard merges the C64 with contemporary peripherals.
posted by MrGuilt on Dec 7, 2007 - 85 comments

"The problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. They have no taste and I don't mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way."

Triumph of the Nerds is a 1996 three-part documentary recounting the rise of the personal computer, including interviews with Gates, Wozniak and Jobs, among others. It was originally produced for British television, and aired on PBS in the USA. Part One: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Part Two: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Part Three: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Transcripts here. After you watch, you can play the "Guess the Computer" game.
posted by amyms on Sep 29, 2007 - 19 comments

The Google Datacenter = The Great Pyramids

The Seven Wonders of the IT World. Thrill at the camera closest to the North Pole! Consider the computer farthest from Earth! Goggle at the secret Google computing center! Tremble at the world's most powerful computer! Also, be slightly interested in large grid computers, Linux, and the OQO portable computer.
posted by blahblahblah on Sep 12, 2007 - 17 comments

"How I Became a Programmer"

"How I Became A Programmer" veers between linear biography and brain dump. The piece meanders through its theme, stopping along the way to flirt with word origins, family politics, the senior prom, Japan, airlines and military recruitment. Reading it, I felt trapped inside inside an extremely quirky -- yet recognizable (in a too-close-for-comfort way) -- mind. About half the time I yearned to tell him that he needs an editor; the other half, I was grateful that he didn't have one. Mostly, I'm amazed he HAD a date to the senior prom!
posted by grumblebee on Aug 18, 2007 - 52 comments

Scoble on How to Read 600 RSS Feeds a Day

How to Read 600 RSS Feeds a Day for Pleasure and Profit. Video of Robert Scoble showing how he culls 600 RSS feeds a day for his weblog, Scobleizer, using Google Reader.
posted by shivohum on Jul 17, 2007 - 40 comments

The How-To Geek

The How-To Geek provides hints and tips for a variety of operating systems and popular pieces of software. The how-tos cover a pleasing range of head-slapping I-should-have-known-thats to relatively advanced techniques. Follow the latest page to read the site in blog form.
posted by nthdegx on Jul 8, 2007 - 12 comments

Geek Squad Steals Porn?

Using a computer set to auto-screencast, The Consumerist catches a Geek Squad technician copying porn from a client's computer to a thumbdrive, and they've got video and logfiles (CSV) to prove it. Also, the Geek Squad CEO responds, and an anonymous Geek Squad tech confesses that this is not an uncommon practice: "stealing customers' nudie pics was an easter egg hunt." Consumerist users suggest that this practice might not be limited to Geek Squad. Via.
posted by charmston on Jul 6, 2007 - 73 comments

Linux in '08

Is the next President of the United States running Linux? The Democrats love open source and the Republicans love Microsoft.
posted by caddis on Jul 5, 2007 - 41 comments

5. ColdFusion

The top 10 dead (or dying) computer skills. "Obsolescence is a relative -- not absolute -- term in the world of technology."
posted by caddis on Jun 25, 2007 - 66 comments

Best hack ever.

We've all seen the multitouch interfaces of Jeff Han, Apple, Tactiva, and Microsoft. Now, fellow mefite you brings us the ultimate guerrilla hack - the $2 multitouch pad. [via mefi projects]
posted by Pastabagel on Jun 13, 2007 - 28 comments

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